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Why You Shouldn’t Choose Memory Care That’s One-Size-Fits-All

When it’s time to choose a memory care community, it’s important to realize that everyone is different. No one has the same experiences, preferences or tastes. No one shares all the same hobbies, talents or skills. People are unique, and that’s one of the reasons the world is so great. If people aren’t one-size-fits-all, why should your memory care be? Choosing memory care that’s as unique as you are and takes each individual senior into account is one of the best ways to ensure seniors choose the memory care community that’s right for them.

According to Andrea Campisi, Marketing Director at The Reutlinger Community, an assisted living, enhanced assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation community in Danville, CA, many seniors and their families look for the same types of attributes in a memory care community. “Before ever touring, we have an idea in our head about what it is we are looking for. We want it to look appealing, we want there to be a variety of programs and we want the care we need to have the lifestyle we deserve,” said Andrea. “The issue is that we often just visit and tour the community and check these items off the list without looking into it further. The community may be beautiful, the residents may look happy and there may be plenty of programs and a great care plan, but just how personalized is it really? Don’t just check items off the list, this decision is much bigger than that.”

5 Reasons Memory Care Shouldn’t Be One-Size-Fits-All

When you or a loved one are looking into a memory care community, make a list of things you are personally looking for. Consider some of the following:

 

  • Location. If you love being immersed in nature and beautiful surroundings, you wouldn’t choose a memory care community located in the middle of a city just as you wouldn’t move to one in the country if you love hearing the bustle and excitement of the city. Keep in mind that the community you choose doesn’t usually impact outings, as many plan specific trips to local museums and attractions. Be sure to ask for some examples of trips the community has gone on to gauge whether or not you’d be interested. If you or a loved one like to watch sports or go to the theater, see if that’s an option. Being specific about what you are looking for isn’t a bad thing when choosing memory care.

 

  • Person-centered care. Memory loss can impact seniors in a number of different ways and no diagnosis is exactly the same. This makes it crucial for seniors to receive resident-centered care according to their own specific needs and disease. When touring a community, talk to the staff about who will care for you or your loved one, if they will be their dedicated team and if personal care plans are created and agreed upon. It can help to meet with the staff and ask specific questions you have as well.

 

  • Programs and activities. Make a list of things you love to do. If you love to paint, read, garden or exercise, make sure the community has programs that can accommodate this. Have a specific skill or talent you want to share but there’s no club or program available? See if one can be started. It’s important for seniors to have access to activities they love, especially when they have memory loss, because these activities can often entice them to remember past events and connect with who they were. It’s also important to see if the community offers any special programming, like sensory-based therapies and activities that can help soothe those with memory loss while engaging their minds.

 

  • Dining. Do you or a loved one have dietary restrictions or need adaptations in order to make dining easier? Make sure these can be accommodated at the memory care community you choose. Because not everyone has the same preferences, it can also help to make sure the community offers meals throughout different times of the day and healthy snacks and beverages at all times. Try to make sure meals can be tailored to meet their preferences, as well and that there is plenty of choice and variety.

Choosing the wrong memory care community for you can lead to dissatisfaction, isolation and depression. This can make for a costly move down the road and even more disruption in you or a loved one’s daily life. Choosing a community that’s not one-size-fits-all in the first place can help to decrease the likelihood of this and ensure your loved one has access to the engaging, exciting lifestyle and high level of care they deserve.

For more information on choosing a memory care community, or to take a tour of The Reutlinger to see how our resident-centered approach to care and activities can benefit yourself or a loved one, contact us today. We’d be happy to show you how our residents live more engaged, fulfilled and connected lives as a result of a far-from-cookie-cutter lifestyle.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering assisted living, enhanced assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, The Reutlinger provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger’s newly renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

Spring Awakens the Body and Mind – Keys to Successful Aging

According to one expert on aging, “If exercise could be put in a pill, it would be the number one anti-aging medicine and the number one anti-depression medicine.” Yes, exercise is essential at any age, but for the elderly, activity and movement is more important than ever.

A physical activity program geared to a senior’s individual ability can improve strength, energy, and appetite. It also benefits cognitive abilities as well as providing a boost to mood and memory.

Gentle exercise programs, such as stretching are especially suited for seniors. These exercises improve balance, range of motion, and coordination. The slow, fluid movements of exercise similar to Tai Chi provide a sense of peace and relaxation while strengthening muscle control and balance.

Even seniors who use a wheelchair or who have limited mobility can exercise. Stretching exercises can be done while in a chair, and the use of light hand weights can improve cardiovascular health and muscle tone. Water exercise is excellent for the elderly.

For the more active senior, group activities such as line dancing and low-impact aerobics classes couple a higher level of exercise with the inspiration of a social setting.

A senior living community such as The Reutlinger, that offers multiple levels of care, is perfect in being able to tailor exercise opportunities to a wide-range of residents.

The stimulation of our mind is also of great importance as we age. We want to be sure that we keep learning, stay interested in life, and create.

Listen to music. Music is a language that can express the inexpressible. The emotional and spiritual effects of music can be profound. Happy music can lift us up, and calm music can relax us.

Paint. Spring is a time when nature begins to reveal new colors. So why not work with some colors of your own. Take some time to paint something you find beautiful be it a landscape, a still life or the people around you.

Meditate or pray. Meditation and prayer can have a powerful effect on a person’s spirit whether they are looking to simply appreciate life more or connect to something greater. Psychologists say that meditation and prayer reduce the stress of daily life, helps a person’s sense of self-control and even makes them more pleasant to be around.

At The Reutlinger Community, our residents find comfort from our onsite spiritual leader, self-expression in our Discovering the Artist Within program, joy through music therapy, and lovely grounds to awaken their senses. For more information call Andrea Campisi, Director of Admissions and Marketing at (925) 964-2062.

Sundowning: What it is, What you can do

It is estimated that 1 in 5 people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia will exhibit symptoms of “Sundowning,” a psychological condition in people with cognitive impairment that is characterized by anxiety, restlessness, confusion and other behaviors. The term Sundowning is used because the symptoms often begin in the evening, as the sun is setting.

Sundowning is usually seen in those with mid-stage Alzheimer’s and decreases as the illness progresses.

Someone with Sundowning syndrome tends to become disoriented and agitated as the day begins to wind down. They may become confused and unable to process information, thereby becoming irritable and angry. They can be demanding or suspicious, and some may even have auditory or visual hallucinations that add to their anxiety. In an effort to cope with their confusion and the changing evening environment, they may wander, pace, and act out, which further complicates the process of settling down for sleep.

The exact cause of Sundowning is not known, but some research suggests that Alzheimer’s affects the person’s biological clock, inhibiting their natural transition from day to night. Fatigue could be a contributor, as could the fading light of day, which can make visibility more difficult for an elderly person. Also, the quiet of the evening gives the affected more time to focus on problems, which could lead to depression.

Sundowning is distressing for both the person and their caregiver, but steps can be taken to manage the symptoms. Ensure that the person affected engages in some activity during the day but does not become overly fatigued. Provide a calm environment as the day progresses by reducing activity, noise, and clutter. Distract an agitated person with a snack, a quiet TV show, or soothing music. Provide adequate lighting until the person is ready to fall asleep. And most important, be exceedingly kind and patient.